Trauma Informed Yoga for the Incarcerated

by Yoga 4 Change, INC
Trauma Informed Yoga for the Incarcerated
Trauma Informed Yoga for the Incarcerated
Trauma Informed Yoga for the Incarcerated
Trauma Informed Yoga for the Incarcerated
Trauma Informed Yoga for the Incarcerated
Trauma Informed Yoga for the Incarcerated
Trauma Informed Yoga for the Incarcerated
Trauma Informed Yoga for the Incarcerated
Trauma Informed Yoga for the Incarcerated
Trauma Informed Yoga for the Incarcerated

Yoga 4 Change currently maintains eight weekly classes specific to individuals involved in the carceral system.  These classes are in partnership with the Department of Corrections, court system and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.  Depending on the partnership, classes are offered both in-person and virtually.  We collect both quantitative and qualitative data at every class.  Below are a few quotes from students after taking 4-weeks of classes.  

"Yoga has certainly helped me out and understanding how to take control of my mind, body and spirit. To keep in touch with myself. Learn about new ways and techniques to improve myself physically and spiritually. Yoga can be used as a positive force to help me build my life a lot better and feel better at the same time. Thank you for letting me share."

"Great program, helped me focus on me and not other stuff. I will continue to take yoga it's helping me to cope with my short coming too."

"When I started the program, I started with an open mind & giving it a fair chance. I knew the only reason I was doing it was because it was 'court ordered', & that it was a practice, ( this yoga thing), that was kinda for chiks, at best, feminine'ish. So, instead of doing the easy thing & go into it with an attitude of, "...Oh my gosh, I can't wait till these 6 sessions are over already...', I chose the 'all in' approach. I couldn,'t have been more pleasantly wrong, I GET IT...I now know why humans do Yoga. I particularly enjoyed the early morning session, cuz for me, no matter how I felt prior to 'logging on', a feeling of 'Heaven Sent' came over me upon completion. So, in summation, no matter when I do a session of Yoga, I'm gonna feel better about 'doing life'."


And we conclude with one final quote that we find relatable - "Yoga is the best".


Happy Holidays Everyone, from the Entire Yoga 4 Change Team


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Hi Community,

We hope everyone is healthy and safe.

This is the latest update on our carceral facility programming.  As of right now, all Duval County Carceral programs are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are in constant communication with staff at all three facilities and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO), and due to the high numbers of COVID cases in the Jacksonville area, all external programs are being paused per JSO.  We will keep you updated on this program and our next action steps.  In lieu of in-person programs, we have been offering virtual classes to individuals involved with the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court in Duval County.  These classes run four times per week and are recommended by Judges in Veteran Court, Mental Health Court and Drug Court. Also, in Duval County, we continue to teach to the youth at the Department of Juvenile Justice.  In a recent Florida Department of Juvenile Justice newsletter, they state " The Yoga 4 Change team visits the youth every Tuesday to share their instruction.  The instructors are patient and helpful in teaching the basic foundations of yoga, and the youth greatly enjoy the class." 


In addition, we continue to offer in-person classes to individuals in correctional facilities in Seminole County.  These classes have been on-going since the beginning of 2021 and are being researched by our Director of Research, in partnership with Boston University.  Individuals track mood, stress and physical pain levels via notecards both before and after class and they self-report on multiple outcomes through a pre- and post survey taken before starting classes and after 6-weeks of programming.  Outcomes such as post traumatic stress, emotional awareness, emotional regulation and healthy coping skills.  Photos posted are from individuals notecards after one yoga class.  


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Staff outside of the John Polk Correctional
Staff outside of the John Polk Correctional

During the pandemic, many facilities were not allowing external programming and/or serving less individuals due to social distancing requirements.  All 6 weekly in-person classes in the 3 facilities ran by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in Duval County were put on pause.  In order to continue serving individuals involved in the carceral system, we began court-ordered virtual classes serving individuals who are involved in the carceral system through Veteran Court, Mental Health Court and Drug Court. In addition, we have begun in-person classes for individuals at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Seminole County and have weekly consistent classes.

Our Program Directors are in constant communication with the administration and judicial court system in Duval County and we will resume classes as soon as it is safe to do so.  Also, to note, we are in conversation with the court system in Tampa Bay and are working on securing a partnership to serve individuals court-involved in the Tampa Bay area.  We are grateful for your continued support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and will keep you updated as we shift back to in-person in Duval County correctional facilities and grow our programming across the state of Florida.  

Practicing Yoga
Practicing Yoga


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To all those who have supported our mission, Thank You!
2020 was a wild year full of pivoting, navigating new territory and converting all Yoga 4 Change programming from in-person to virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  With resilience, drive, a passionate team and a desire to continue to uphold our mission, we were able to accomplish a lot in spite of the conditions.  Your support has played a huge role in Yoga 4 Change being able to achieve the impact described in our Annual Report (photos attached). Amid the inconsistency of the world and the increased isolation and loneliness being felt, our team continued to provide a secure space and bring consistent mental health resources to individuals across the state of Florida.  In addition, we were able to continue to teach individuals involved in the carceral system through an expanded partnership with the 4th Judicial Veteran Treatment Court in Duval County, Jacksonville, Florida.
Be sure to check out our YouTube channel (Yoga 4 Change) for free resources that can help lower stress and anxiety and increase mood, sleep and positive coping skills.  
From the entire Yoga 4 Change team, Happy New Year!  Here's to perserverance and strength.  

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Yoga 4 Change has taught program classes to individuals who are experiencing incarceration in Northeast Florida since the organization's inception in 2014.  Due to COVID19, all program classes have been pivoted to be offered virtually.  This transition, although challenging at first, has afforded Yoga 4 Change the opportunity to offer scale programming without the constraints of a brick and mortar space.  Yoga 4 Change will begin virtual programming for individuals involved in the 4th Judicial Circuit Court in Duval County: including Veterans Treatment Court and Drug Court.  4th Circuit Court Judges have committed to sentencing individuals to 6-weeks worth of programming, or will be tying an individual's participation to phase up in speciality courts; get out of jail and onto probation earlier; and as an alterantive to incarceration time.  

Thank you for your continued belief in our organization and our mission to make the impact of the yoag practice accessible to all individuals.  Your support and financial contribution makes a huge impact on the community and allows Yoga 4 Change to reach more individuals.

Thank You!


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Organization Information

Yoga 4 Change, INC

Location: Atlantic Beach, FL - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @yoga_4_change
Project Leader:
Breanna Tivvis
Atlantic Beach, FL United States
$16,078 raised of $57,000 goal
162 donations
$40,922 to go
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